A short guide of how to survive your first month at the University of York

Hello everyone and welcome to my first blog post! My name is Roberta and I am a second year Theatre: Writing, Directing and Performance student at the University of York.

Here I am with my best smile to welcome you on my first blog post!
Here I am with my best smile to welcome you on my first blog post!

I can’t wait to share with you a bit of student life “wisdom” (joking…wise, me?!). Aaaanyway, to start off I’ve decided to talk about moving to uni, the inevitable homesickness that comes with it and how to cope with it.

Believing it or not, we are already in November and this means not only that the first term is almost over and that assessments are coming for us here in York (scary!), but also that Fresher’s week has been over for more than a month already (it seems like yesterday…).

Everyone knows what Fresher’s Week involves: making new friends, going out, socialising, meeting your coursemates, getting to know the city, the University and your Department better.

A bit of college pride never killed nobody. #HearUsRoar

You basically have the time of your life in one week. But, what happens next? This post will try to answer this question.

We all know that moving to uni, away from your home town, your childhood friends and your parents can be a pretty daunting experience. Even more so if, like me, you come from abroad. When we move to uni we almost all are just a bit older than 18, and used to living with our parents who took care of us. Suddenly we’re moving to a new city, in an unfamiliar room with flatmates we have never met before, And now, not only we have to start studying for a degree at a specialised level, but we also have to look after ourselves…alone. It’s a bit overwhelming!

The mirror selfie you will take during Freshers Week for the “Back to school” classic night out.
Me, last year, on one of my homesickness moments 🙁

Fresher’s Week is, in a sort of way, a coping method to make the transaction from home to your new house smoother. But, when it’s over and your course starts, things get serious. You are sat alone in your room and all these worrying thoughts come to your mind and you’d just like to have your mum with you cooking your favourite food.

Don’t worry. Everyone has been there, it’s perfectly normal! The good news is that there are hundreds of ways to cope with homesickness and everyone I know has suffered from it and survived it.

How? you’ll be asking. There are no set rules to fight this feeling of sadness, but here it is a small list of what you might do that will make you feel better.

  • Explore the town – I will do a blog post about it later this year.
  • Get involved with societies. There are loads, just take your pick!

    My first ever photo taken of York during my Freshers Week.
    My first ever photo taken in York during my Freshers Week.
  • Start focusing on your course – it is the subject you have chosen, after all. Uni is intellectually stimulating and a good way to focus your mind.
  • Get to know your flatmates and coursemates better.
  • Discover the campus and your department, there are many exciting places to see.
  • Go out. Get to know all the cafes, clubs, bars and pubs in town – it’s a great feeling to know your favourite places in the city.
  • If you feel really low, talk with your parents, supervisor or college welfare officer. They will know how to help you.

Before you even realise it, you will be going out for the first time with all your coursemates, you will be posting the classic first term at uni photo on Instagram with your friends with the hashtag #squadgoals.

I took this picture, while walking for the first time into my department, TFTV.

Without even noticing it, you will build for yourself a routine made of lectures, independent study and social life. You will be running up and down the library steps looking for that book you really need for your first essay.

And soon, the John Lewis advert will be out, everyone will start talking about Christmas, someone in your flat will play Michael Bublé and you will start decorating your room because you feel the holiday vibes coming. You will, then, have the typical Christmas dinner with your flatmates, will submit your first summative essays and without even realising it you will be saying goodbye to your friends and will be on a train/plane going home. First term will be over, homesickness will be just a sad memory and you will be looking forward to coming back in January to what you will already be calling your new house!

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Hi everyone! My name is Roberta and I come from Naples, in Italy. I am a second year Theatre: Writing, Directing and Performance student at the University of York. Of course theatre and drama are my main interests, but I also like swimming and dancing Salsa and Bachata. I speak four languages (Italian, English, French and Spanish) and I love travelling and discovering new places and cultures. I am part of the committee of the Latin American Society, I am also and active member of DramaSoc, a Student Fundraiser for YuCall and a Student Ambassador for my department, TFTV. With my blog posts I hope to help you all to discover a bit more about York and university life.

2 thoughts on “A short guide of how to survive your first month at the University of York”

    1. Hi Mohsen,

      Thank you for your comment and sorry if it took so long to reply. I am more than happy to help you knowing more about the University of York. Is there anything in particulat you would like to know?

      Anyway, keep an eye on the blog (https://blogs.york.ac.uk/student-voices/) because every blogger is posting something different, but everything of what we write about is related with York.


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